What makes a 'good' and 'bad' candidate from a recruiter's point of view? (Part 1)

Having worked in PA recruitment for over 10 years, I've spent many hours meeting candidates with varying degrees of interview experience. For the most part, candidates have a good idea of what is expected from them but recently I met a candidate who unfortunately got everything wrong from the start.

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Picture this - a candidate turns up 20 minutes late to meet you to discuss a role working as PA to CEO for a well-known brand. When you enter the room to welcome her, she remains seated, doesn't smile at you or offer a handshake, but mentions that she’s overslept. She is surrounded by shopping bags, drinking from a Starbucks coffee cup, and is also chewing gum. She then interjects with ‘sorry, what’s your name again?’ and ‘can we make this quick as I only have 15 minutes?’

This is an extreme example but as you can see first impressions count when you meet your recruitment consultant or potential employer!  

Interview musts:

  1. Be on time, ideally 5-10 minutes early -  it shows your respect for others and that you’re dependable. I’ve known candidates be turned away from job interviews for arriving late before. Always factor in extra time for possible transport delays.
  2. Call ahead and apologise if you’re late– it’s common courtesy and helps the interview to start on a good note.
  3. Stand up when you greet people - call it old fashioned, but it really makes a powerful and positive impression.
  4. Give a firm handshake - a limp one implies no oomph, but don’t go too far the other way, no one enjoys a bone crusher!
  5. Thank the interviewer for their time – this shows that you appreciate other people have busy days too.
  6. Dress smartly and don’t have too many bags with you – this gives a slick and organised impression of you as an employee.
  7. Know who you’re meeting with.
  8. Allow time to do the interview properly – remember, we’re on your side and want to help you – this interview is an opportunity for you to bring your CV to life and for us to understand your best qualities so that we can highlight these to potential employers.
  9. Last but not least, smile! 

Click here for part two of this blog.

If you've got PA or Office Support experience and you're interested in new opportunities please contact Hera Search on 0203 713 0590 / info@herasearch.com.